School Trip Budgeting Guide: What Are the Average School Trip Costs in the UK?

School trips can be costly, but they’re one of the best ways to enhance learning and reward students. In this guide, we'll explore the typical costs associated with school trips in the UK and provide tips on how to manage expenses effectively.

School trips are an integral part of the educational experience, providing students with valuable opportunities for learning and personal growth. However, planning a school trip can be a daunting task, especially when it comes to budgeting.

On average, a day trip within the UK might range from £50 to £100 per student, while overnight trips could cost between £150 and £400 each. For international trips, costs can vary significantly based on the destination and duration, and you may be looking at paying between £300 and £2,000 per student, depending on your destination.

No matter the length of the trip, there are some common factors that will impact the cost. These include group size, mode of transport, accommodation (if necessary), and activities planned. Proper planning and budgeting are essential to ensure that school trips remain accessible and affordable for all students.

Cost factors for school trips

School trip costs can vary greatly, depending on the duration, number of students, destination, and more. When budgeting for a school trip, it’s important to consider various expenses, including:

Travel

Transportation costs, whether by coach, train, boat, or other means, can account for a significant portion of the trip budget. If you’re travelling abroad, you need to consider the costs of flying, versus the complexity of getting a ferry and a coach (if travelling to Europe).

Activities

Entrance fees, tickets for attractions, and any additional activity costs will need to be factored into your overall budget. There are plenty of activities to take part in that are low-cost or free, so this doesn’t necessarily need to be an expensive part of your experience.

Food

Budgeting for meals and snacks during the trip is essential to ensure students are well-fed and energised. For day trips, you can encourage students to bring a packed lunch to save on costs, but for multi-day trips breakfasts, lunches, and dinners will need to be accounted for.

Accommodation

If the trip requires overnight stays, accommodation expenses must be taken into consideration. These will depend on the destination, the type of accommodation you choose, how many nights you plan to stay, and how many students can stay in one room.

Tour guides

Hiring tour guides or educational specialists can be an excellent way to enhance the learning experience. If you choose to take this route, there will be an additional cost, depending on the length of time the guide accompanies your group for.

How to reduce the costs of school trips

School trips don’t need to be an expensive experience. To ensure your trips are available to all students, no matter their families’ financial situation, there are a lot of things you can take into account when planning. Both parents and schools can take the following proactive steps to ensure trips are as cost-effective as possible.

For schools

  • Consider parents’ budgets: Take into account the financial constraints of families when planning trips and explore options to make them more affordable.
  • Use a budget tracker: Keep track of expenses throughout the planning process to ensure you stay within budget. This can also be used while you’re away to track your spending as it happens.
  • Book nearby school trips: Choosing destinations that are closer to home can help reduce transportation and accommodation costs. You may also find that local places sometimes offer discounts for schools nearby, so it’s worth exploring your options.
  • Make the most out of free resources: Look for educational places such as museums and galleries that offer free admission or discounted rates for school groups. Some school trip providers, like NGT, offer free resources to help with the planning process, too.
  • Look for the right providers: Research and compare prices from different providers to evaluate which trips are like-for-like within your budget and to find the best deals for your students
  • Fundraise: Explore fundraising options to help cover the cost of the trip, such as organising events, selling products, or seeking sponsorship from local businesses. We have recently partnered with FundEd, a UK organisation offering services around school trip fundraising.

For parents

  • Pack meals and snacks: Save money by packing meals and snacks for your child instead of relying on expensive dining options during the trip.
  • Use reusable water bottles: Encourage your child to bring a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated without having to purchase bottled drinks.
  • Carry essentials: Make sure your child has all the necessary items for the trip. This could include sunscreen, a hat, and comfortable walking shoes. This will prevent your child from having to buy these things at an inflated price if they find they need them—and they don’t take up too much space.

How much do school trips abroad cost?

The cost of school trips abroad can vary depending on factors such as the destination, duration of the trip, and activities included. Mode of transport will also impact the overall cost, as you may find that flying is more expensive than travelling by coach and/or boat. For further destinations outside of Europe, flying will be the only option, so this should be considered when planning trips to places such as the USA.

Here are some estimated costs for popular destinations:

School trip to France cost

When travelling from the UK to France, costs can range from around £400 to £800 per student, depending on the length of the trip and activities planned. France is great for foreign language experience, whilst also being rich in art and architecture.

School trip to Spain cost

Perfect for putting their Spanish language skills to the test, trips to Spain typically can cost between £500 and £1,000 per student. Not just great for language learning—why not head to Valencia for a science experience?

School trip to Italy cost

Where better to study volcanoes and tectonic activity than on a Geography trip to Naples? When planning a school trip to Italy you can expect to pay between £600 and £1,200 per student.

School trip to Germany cost

Costs for school trips to Germany typically range between £400 to £900 per student. A History trip to Berlin could just be a trip your students talk about for years to come.

And finally ... work around special events 

Some destinations may have a unique event taking place that can not only affect availability of accommodation and services but will also guarantee an increase in price. The 2024 Euros in Germany have resulted in prices for accommodation and flights being at a premium, the Paris Olympics and the 80th anniversary of the D-Day Landings means that suppliers in northern France have increased their prices. Our advice is to look at an alternative destination or date. It may mean a change to your usual tour but will help you to keep your budget down. 

 

Get further support planning your next school trip with NGT

Get further support planning your next school trip with NGT Need assistance planning your next school trip? At Next Generation Travel, we offer a range of resources and support services to help you plan unforgettable educational experiences for your students. From destination guides to expert advice, NGT is your trusted partner in educational travel. With careful budgeting and planning, school trips can be both enriching and affordable experiences for students. By considering costs, including exploring cost-saving measures, and seeking support from us, you can ensure that your next school trip is a success. Find your next trip today.

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